The effect of onset asynchrony on discrimination of spectral shape was evaluated for hearing-impaired and normal-hearing listeners. Stimuli were the sum of four tones equally spaced on a logarithmic frequency scale. The standard stimulus had tones of equal amplitude, and the signal stimulus had two adjacent components increased in level, and the other two components decreased in level. Thresholds for discrimination between the standard and signal stimuli were measured as a function of an onset asynchrony among the components of 0, 50, and 200 ms. Hearing-impaired and normal-hearing listeners had similar thresholds when the stimulus components were widely spaced in frequency, but hearing-impaired listeners had much higher thresholds for narrowly spaced components. Excitation pattern analyses indicated that listeners may use spectral peaks in the stimulus rather than the change in excitation across the full stimulus bandwidth for spectral shape discrimination tasks. Increasing temporal asynchrony of components resulted in increased thresholds for both groups of listeners to a greater extent in the wide span than the narrow span. Reduced effects of onset asynchrony in the narrow span suggest that spectral resolvability of components plays an important role in the processing of onset asynchrony across frequency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics